September 30, 2020 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

Still Bisexual

Still Bisexual will be hosting an online event called Sacred Space: A Black Wellness Event on Saturday, August 1st at 11 a.m. PST/ 2 p.m. EST centered around nurturing Black LGBTQ+ community through self-care during this challenging time.

 The event was created by Ashlei Shyne in partnership with Still Bisexual founder Nicole Kristal. When speaking of the inspiration for the event Shyne said “ I was feeling a lot of anxiety because we were in the middle of protests, in the middle of Corona, my uncle had just passed away and I felt so much anxiety. I felt like the outside world was so much and I couldn’t even sleep. I started wondering if other black people and people of color were feeling the same way. Since everything went down there hasn’t been a lot of LGBTQ safe spaces that we can go to so I reached out to Nicole about the idea and she said yes and within  a week I was able to get guests and sponsors and it took off from there. I think it’s really important, especially for people who don’t practice self care and wellness, and you don’t have to go to a spa and spend all this money. I’ve created a space to feel that way within yourself with black and brown people. Im happy to start bringing more people that reflect our community in the mainstream.”  

The guest line up includes Aun’jel Fullington a Black, non-binary licensed massage therapist, who will guide participants through “Embodied Relief” which is a 30-minute self-massage as well as internationally renowned touring poet & actress Yazmin Monet Watkins, and playwright, actor & poet Troy Rockett who will showcase their beautiful, soulful work. 

Still Bisexual is an education and advocacy nonprofit organization focused on empowering those who are attracted to more than one sex and/or gender. Their media campaigns and education programs raise awareness, promote inclusiveness and foster understanding about the unique challenges faced by bisexuals, pansexuals, fluid and queer members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

Activist and author Nicole Kristal created Still Bisexual in 2015 after growing frustrated with the lack of social acceptance for bisexuals despite wider gains for gays and lesbians. It was 2015 and bisexuality was still seen as “a phase,” and bisexuals were still being labeled “greedy,” “confused,” “unfaithful,” and “promiscuous.” Kristal thought if they could make folks realize the bisexual identity, for most, was lifelong and that bisexuals in committed monogamous relationships hadn’t “picked a side,” but instead were still bisexual, they could finally start to debunk some of the stereotypes. 

Speaking on why an organization like this is needed at this current time Kristal stated, “The bisexual community has the most mental health disparities because we are discriminated against from the LGBTQ+ community as well as the straight community. So an organization like this is definitely needed and it’s very important to keep these events free. We encourage people to donate but it’s not necessary. I would love to continue to do it. It would be nice to continue to offer this healing space for people.” When asked if they would consider doing the event in person once COVID-19 restrictions are lifted Kristal had this to say, “It would be nice to do that, but doing it online reaches a wide range of people and it’s also less intimidating to do it online rather than in person since only 28 percent of bisexuals are out of the closet.”

After exploding on social media the #StillBisexual campaign has been covered in NBC News, Cosmopolitan, Bustle, The Advocate, The Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast. Still Bisexual was listed as a “must-have resource” for bisexual health by the Human Rights Campaign.

Their mission is to foster public acceptance, awareness and understanding of bisexual, pansexual, fluid, and queer identities and the challenges they face; to develop and promote self-acceptance, personal empowerment and visibility among bisexual, pansexual, fluid, and queer people; and to foster inclusivity and acceptance for bisexual, pansexual, fluid and queer people among the larger LGBTQIA+ community.

For more information or to register for the event visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/sacred-space-a-black-lgbtq-wellness-event-tickets-113826265424?aff=ebdssbonlinesearch&fbclid=IwAR0gxoN7uIw8N2DmA88GBR3D6UsYYcWOL_j-VHUC1pE_a7Dt6-WPGDGz1MI

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